DIY Bow Back Shirt with Lace

Bow Back Header

Front and Back

Bow Back 1

It’s no secret around here how much I love Old Navy. (I know, I know…enough already, right?) Sorry! But not really. I love a good deal, and their clearance is hard to beat.

A few weeks ago I found this adorable Eiffel Tower graphic tee and I loved it. I instantly had a few outfit ideas in mind, so I scooped it up and was excited to bring it home. When I got home and re-tried on everything I bought (everyone else does that too, right?) I realized there were two small holes in the back. Ugh. I was kinda upset, but I only paid a few dollars for the shirt…so I realized I couldn’t be that bummed out. I looked the shirt over and decided I was going to try to save it.

Now…I’m a total novice when it comes to anything sewing. I know pretty much absolutely nothing. I don’t own a sewing machine, and I’m pretty sure the sewing I do by hand is wrong. Can sewing be wrong? I really think mine is. Anyway, I decided I loved the idea of doing a bow back shirt because it can usually be done without sewing anything at all, which instantly sold me on the idea. When I looked at the back of the shirt again, I realized that the holes were a little too far down for a bow back to work and still be modest enough…so I went back to the drawing board. I came up with this! I love love love the lace with the subtle pink color behind it, and I still get to have the fun flirty bow I originally wanted! Plus it is still plenty modest and I don’t have to worry about being too exposed. And the best part…I did this all without sewing it.

So, here is how to do it! You will need:

What You Need

A t-shirt, lace, cotton fabric, a pair of scissors, and liquid stitch (original). Oh, and a ruler or tape measure of some kind will help you out a ton, but I guess it isn’t essential.

I got all of my supplies at Walmart, other than the shirt. The lace and cotton fabric were in the fabric section and were only a few dollars a piece, and the liquid stitch was just a few aisles over in the sewing section and was about $3. I love inexpensive DIYs!

The how:
Just to reiterate…I’m no expert, so I might be doing this wrong. I decided to just wing it, and I like how it turned out!

I went ahead and measured to find the middle of the shirt and lightly drew a line down the middle in pencil.

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See the holes? They’ve gotta go!

Next, I decided how high up I wanted the lace to come. There was nothing technical about this. I eye balled it. Once I decided how high I wanted it, I lightly drew a horizontal line across the back where I was going to stop cutting to allow for the bow. Then, I cut it. Actually it took me like 3 minutes to convince myself to do it. I was nervous I was going to mess it up!

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Bam! Did it!

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You can’t see it here, but I DID NOT cut off the sides of the shirt. They are folded under, about 3 inches on each side.

After I cut the shirt, I decided how much lace I wanted showing in the back. I knew I wanted the shirt taken in about an inch on each side in addition to the alterations I was doing, so I decided I wanted about four inches of the lace overlay down the middle. I made sure to take into account the three inches of t-shirt on each side that I had measured as well.

To make the lace and pink cotton fabric a little easier to work with, I glued one end of the lace down to the top of the fabric strip, and cut them both to be about 6 inches wide so I had some room to work with (aka in case I messed up a little).

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Fancy angle photo! Haha, sorry y’all…I did this late at night. Sleepy Maria was the one taking the pictures.

Once I had that somewhat secured, I made sure my shirt was the right side out…not inside out. I folded under the three inches of fabric on each side, just like you see in the picture above this one. I was going to attempt to do this all with the shirt inside out, but I knew I would mess it up that way. All I did from here was place the pink and black lace piece underneath the back of the shirt, lined up the lace pattern as I wanted it, and began to glue it down.

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Everything all lined up…

I put one thin line of glue down one side of the pink and black lace piece at a time, and lightly pressed down. Once I had both sides secure, I folded both the top and bottom flaps over and secured them with the liquid stitch as well. I glued down the seam at the top (which would become the bottom of my bow) just to give it a more polished look, and then I gathered the material at the top so the bow would look a little pleated. I wrapped a piece of lace around the bow to secure it, and then I did sew that by hand just to make sure it was completely secure (I didn’t trust the glue for that part). It turned out like this:

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Pretty bow! Oh, I also used my needle and thread to tack down the sides just at the top of the lace to make it lay nicely.

The glue needs to dry for at least 30 minutes, but as I mentioned before, I did this just before bed so I let it dry overnight. Full disclosure: I’m almost positive that I’m going to bring this to one of my friends with a sewing machine so I can go over all of the seams, just to be safe. I really like the way this turned out and I want it to last! From everything I read online about the liquid stitch, it seems to be pretty common for it to loosen or detach in the wash. It seems like it’s a solid hold for things that wont be worn/washed all the time though. I wore this today though just being held together by the adhesive with no problems at all.

So there you have it! Finished, and no more pesky holes!

Finished back

Ta-da!

You can dress this both up and down depending on how you’ll be spending your day. I wore it to work with nice black dress pants and some white heels, and then came home and got a little more comfortable with some cute skinny jeans and my favorite flats.

If you try an alteration like this I’d love to see it! Find me on social media (all my links are at the top right hand side of this page) and tag me!

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A Modern Twist on a Vintage Look

Polka dots.

I love polka dots. They are so fun yet so classic at the same time. And with a color combination of black, white, red, and grey, this look is incredibly versatile. I wore this outfit to work in the morning, came home and changed bottoms, and rocked the more casual pants look all night long. I love finding a look that is comfortable yet classy, and I love it even more when I can style one item two ways!

PD Options Collage

No surprises here…you all know I love Old Navy. I found this top on clearance there for under $5. Isn’t the ruffle detailing just adorable?! The pants I have had forever and the skirt was an awesome find when I was closet shopping a friend’s wardrobe before she left the island (thanks Karyna!) These red shoes are also an Old Navy find, but they are from a while back so I’m not sure if they are available anymore.

PD with Pants 3PD with Skirt 4PD with Skirt 2

I made the whole look pop with a bright red lip in Revlon’s ColorBurst Matte Balm Stick in the color Standout, and did a variation of my five minute hair fix for an up-do.

Hair updoHair updo braid detail

What’s your favorite way to wear polka dots?

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April and May Favorites

My goodness today has been so busy. I know for pretty much everyone else, it is already tomorrow, but here in Hawaii it is still Saturday, and since I promised my April and May favorites were going to be up today I am going to deliver on that!

Last month I never got around to posting my favorites. By the time I was ready to do it, it was already the middle of May…so I decided why not combine the two months and call it good? So, that’s what we are doing! I feel like this is kind of a random assortment of things, but isn’t it always?

Tory Burch Sunglasses-I know I posted about these a few weeks ago (yes, it is the same picture), but since they came in I have been obsessed. These are hands down my favorite sunglasses, and I am even more stoked about them because they are in my prescription. I love the way they fit my head, the coverage they give, the polarized and slightly gradient lenses, but most of all, I love how kind of cat-eye they are! Retro with a modern twist for sure. It’s going to take a lot to top these sunglasses. I have a feeling they will hold the top spot as my favorites for a while…and this is really saying something since I have three other pairs of prescription sunglasses and at least four plano (regular) sunglasses. Perks of working for a glasses company, I suppose! TB sunNYC Liquid Lipshine-These are the best! I was going to take a picture of my collection, but…I forgot. I’m at a friend’s house babysitting now, otherwise I’d get right on it. Anyway, I love these because they feel so nice on the lips (not tacky at all) and the color payoff is great! Some of the colors are a bit more sheer than others–I wish the coral one in particular was more pigmented–but in general I haven’t found a color I didn’t like. Plus, since these are NYC, you know they are inexpensive! I think they retail for $1.99 or so. Can’t beat that! Since they are just a gloss the color doesn’t last super long, but I don’t even care. We are in a serious relationship and we aren’t breaking up any time soon.

Photo from NYC website

Photo via NYC website

Briannas’ Home Style Rich Poppy Seed Dressing-Y’all…this dressing. Ohmygoodness. The other night we were over at a friend’s house and last minute she decided to make a salad. After looking through the fridge she realized all she had for the salad was lettuce. No joke…because of this dressing I had three servings…yes…of just lettuce. It is so good. It’s like a flavor explosion of amazingness. (Side note…amazingness is underlined in red. Is that not a word? Because it should be. Haha.) I’m actually sitting here typing this waiting (anxiously) for my husband to get off work so he can stop at the store (Safeway) on the way home and buy this dressing so I can finally eat dinner. Am I crazy? Maybe. (Probably.) But I made a salad for dinner tonight and I feel that it would be wrong to eat it with anything but this dressing. So I’ll wait. Only 33 more minutes…

Photo via Target

Photo via Target

Old Navy-Well this one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been reading my blog in the last two months. Pretty much every outfit I have shared on here has been from Old Navy. Their clothes this season are fantastic. ON is usually all hit or miss for me, and I have been winning winning winning lately! I started to become more of an ON fan when I was pregnant because it was one of the only places that I found cute and affordable maternity clothing (I got a pair of fantastic maternity pants for $2.47 on clearance…what?!) and so when I was back down to my normal size postpartum I decided to give them a try again. I am so glad I did! When my budget gets a little bigger and I get this blog off the ground, I’m planning on having an ON gift card giveaway…so spread the word, share with your friends, and keep checking back to see when that will be!

All of my Old Navy favorite outfits from the last few months! 1/2/3/4

All of my Old Navy favorite outfits from the last few months!
1/2/3/4

Jessica Simpson Wallet-I found this wallet at Ross a while back and I am really glad I bought it. It’s the first wallet I have used in a while that has actually stayed organized since I purchased it. I don’t think I have ever had to sit down and clean it out. It has two compartments which I love, and it has plenty of space for all of my cards and everything else. I also love the color so much! It’s holding up nicely and I use it every day, so hopefully it lasts quite a long time.Bottom half 2 Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30-At the very end of this workout, Jillian says, “Transformation is not a future event, it is a present activity.”  I love that! Today was the first day I tried this program. Confession? It kicked my butt. I have done absolutely nothing since having Evan to get back into shape. I have been lucky enough to lose all of the baby weight and am back down to my pre-pregnant weight, but everything is much…squishier. I am definitely not as toned as I was before the baby, and I get winded a lot more easily than I used to. I finally decided I was actually going to get off my butt and do something about it instead of just thinking about doing it, and today was that day. “I just had a baby” really can’t be my excuse anymore at nine months postpartum, and being worried about my C-section recovery can’t either! I’m good to go…I just have to do it! I found these exercises to be challenging but not impossible, and I appreciated Jillian’s motivation through the whole thing. I only made it through just over 20 minutes today, but I am proud of myself for doing something. My goal is to be able to get through the whole thing by the end of next week, and then be completely ripped in 30 days, like the video said. Haha. Serious about the first part…kidding about the second. We’ll see how it goes!Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 I’m giving an honorable mention to Make Up For Ever’s Mat Velvet + makeup. I’ve only tried a sample from Sephora, but so far I really like it. I’ll try it out longer or see if I can find a nice dupe for it and let you know my thoughts.

Wow! I feel like I just talked a lot, but I suppose I was catching up for two months, so it is what it is! In case any of you are wondering, it is now t-minus fifteen minutes until dressing arrives. So. Excited.

Did any of you have any favorite things this month that you think I should try? Let me know…I’m always open to new favorites!

One Dress, Two Ways

Can I be honest with you all?

I would love–like really love–to be able to be a “fashion blogger.” I love clothes, I love style, I love love love accessories…but that’s just not realistic for me right now. Maybe someday I will be in a situation where I have tons of readers and sponsors send me amazing pieces or bags or shoes or jewelry that I can style and wear and promote, but that’s not where I am in the blogging world today.

Since I started blogging, the majority of the blogs I follow are fashion oriented. I’ve realized in the last few weeks that since that is mostly what I am reading and seeing on Instagram, that is mostly what I am thinking about.

Things. All the time.

I’ve stretched our budget super thin in the last few weeks trying to pretend I could afford pieces that we simply just can’t…all for the sake of being able to style them and share them here. It finally hit me at the beginning of this week–that is just craziness! I am a firm believer that when you look good, you feel good, but there is so much more to life and so many more important things to focus on. So, that being said, my style posts in the future are going to be a lot more focused on different ways to wear or style a single item. I might not always be exactly on trend or have the perfect bag/shoes/jewelry to accessorize an outfit with, but I will be living within our means, which quite frankly is way more important.

As a side note…if any of you out there reading this want to sponsor my blog or send me things, I am totally on board! Okay…just wanted to put that out there. Haha.

Anyway…let’s get to it.

I mentioned in my very first What I Wore Wednesday post that I almost never find anything at Old Navy that works for me. I don’t know what happened this year, but Old Navy has been almost the only place that I have found things! I am all about comfortable pieces now that I’m at home with Evan most of the time, but I also like to feel put together. This fitted tee dress is amazing. It is so, so comfy and it can easily be dressed up or down. I had debated buying it (because of our budget!), but when I saw one of my friends wearing it in a different print, I knew I had to have it too. Dressy vs Casual CollageI think this color blue is so beautiful! I decided to go with this one instead of a print because this color will work well across all seasons. I’m looking forward to styling it later this year for cooler weather. Well, in theory at least. It’s always 85° and sunny here! And yes, I know I’m super pale for living in Hawaii. I’ve got to make it a priority to get to the beach more this year!

For the casual look, I think this dress would look great with a belt too. I don’t currently have one in my wardrobe that fits the bill though, so I suppose I’ll just have to wait to experiment with that. Sitting to the side Tada pose Bottom half The dressy look is simple and polished. Sometimes I feel like less really is more! I’ve worn this look to work, church, and hopefully a date-night in the near future. Also, this clutch is actually a large Tory Burch sunglasses case which I talked about in my June favorite things post last year. I love multi-tasking pieces! Full outfit angledKneelingAccessoriesWhat are some of your favorite versatile pieces? Let me know!

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